Cinephilia

The world cinema is finally at a stone’s throw for everyone, that too for free (well, almost). And if this proclamation doesn’t amaze you, let me add one more word- legitimately.

Here are a few top players in the game.

UTV World Movies:- UTV has really emerged as the timely savior of the so called parallel cinema in India, with production initiative ‘UTV SpotBoy’ responsible for producing movies like Aamir; Welcome to Sajjanpur; and forthcoming projects as Dev.D; a film by Majid Majidi; & a joint venture with Virgin Comics (now Liquid Comics)! And if that was not enough, it has started its own world movies channel called (rather unimaginatively) UTV World Movies. One of the ongoing programs in the channel is- 50 Movies To See Before You Die, which features favorite movies of Anurag Kashyap, Mahesh Bhatt, Tanuja Chandra and Manoj Night Shyamalan, with their commentaries.

NDTV Lumière:- Lumière is the French word for light and may refer to Lumière brothers. The service is a digital cable channel, a DVD rental and also plans to periodically show hard to find movies in multiplexes in various cities across India. Their movie vault is indeed impressive. The service also has a blog at PassionForCinema.com

Jaman:- I had discovered Jaman about an year ago, and thought of it as yet another sleazy movie-rental site, only a bit ostentatious. But boy! I was wrong, when a random recent visit amazed me by how much it has grown in a year; and an excellent site architecture is a treat. It has become a sort of the place for Indie movies & shorts, and also offers a lot of free movies and pretty cheap movie rentals. See, for instance, the NFDC productions page.

Palador:- Although Palador attempts to establish itself as a guide to ‘world cinema for dummies’, it has still not penetrated enough to be treated so. Nevertheless, it introduces some novel cine experiences with its pedagogical offerings such as World Cinema Collector’s Box Set. Quoting from the site- their library of acclaimed cinema is being taken to Indian audiences (urban and rural) via an integrated distribution model that covers a DVD label (with Moser Baer), theatrical releases, video-on-demand and a dedicated television channel. Many of these deals, including a deal with Tata Sky, Zee Studio (currently on with 26 movies for 26 weeks), IndiaPlaza.in, ICICI, CitiBank and Axis Bank among others, have been successfully executed.

Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 12:41 am  Comments (7)  
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The Return of Virgin Comics

Virgin Comics returns, with a fresh name and fresh project. The new name is Liquid Comics, and they have some sensational plans ahead.

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 12:50 pm  Comments (3)  
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Quick, who brought the Computer to India?

Sidheshwar Dug points out that it was Amitabh Bachchan’s Trishul where the word ‘Computer’ got mentioned in a Bollywood dialogue for the first time. That was way back in 1978.

Quoting from his post,

विदेश से पढ़कर लौटा युवा उद्यमी शेखर गुप्ता(शशि कपूर) अपने दफ्तर में काम करने वाली युवती गीता(राखी) को जब कई दफा ‘कंप्यूटर’ और ‘मिस कंप्यूटर’ कहकर संबोधित करता है, तो वह एक दिन कुछ खीझकर पछती है कि तुम मुझे बार-बार कंप्यूटर-कंप्यूटर क्यों कहते हो? उत्तर में नायक बड़े उत्साह से बताता है कि विदेशों में एक ऐसी मशीन आई है जो बेहद जल्दी और फुर्ती से बिना कोई गलती किये जोड़-घटाव-टाइपिंग जैसे काम चुटकियों में निपटा देती है, वह भी बिना थके.

See here.

Published in: on October 2, 2008 at 11:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Anurag Kashyap’s First

An accidental find, this film was made for Television in 1998. It is also one of Kay Kay’s firsts.

It is called Last Train to Mahakali.

[Nivedita Bhattacharya, the lady reporter in the movie, is actually Kay Kay’s wife.]

tv-links.co.uk

TV Links (tv-links.co.uk) was shut down on 18th October, just a couple of days after I had discovered this wonderful website. It was an extraordinary, no-nonsense streaming site, which had a database of practically all the popular movies/music/documentaries/anime etc.

I realized today that I was linking to the corpse of this dead website.

Published in: on October 23, 2007 at 11:11 pm  Comments (5)  
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Where did ‘The Fountain’ miss it

I usually try to look at the positive sides of the story, especially of the movies. For a saga made with so much efforts, time, money and dexterity involved, I feel sad when it topples. I had felt so sad for Water.

The Fountain

 

But then I never expected this from Darren Aronofsky, at least not after ‘Requiem for a Dream’ & ‘Pi’. The truth be told, he irritated. So many times I felt like hoping for a chance to edit some parts. It is good to throw up a mystery in the air about the real meaning of the movie, but I don’t buy Lynchgiri. Yeah well, the point is not so much about Lynchgiri, rather it is about the depth in which this mystery resides. And it turned out to be too shallow.

What is ‘The Fountain’ about? No, not about Death. Not in the fuck about Love. It is about existence. It is about being. And why’s that? Because death was not highlighted when Father Avila died- nobody was intimidated. Not the act of dying, but the disease of dying- hence the tree of life. And even when I confess that I am a very sentimental person, and I like the things to go in the Lovelane; it is so not about love. Not love, because Tommy is not happy with decaying Izzi, contrary to many love stories (‘I love you even when you shit, blah blah’ etc). And it attempts to transcend the localities in the problem of existence by elevating it to 3 different & widely separated times. And it tries to bridge the localities in space by referring to Xibalba and the Golden Nebula.

So, where did it fail? It failed in the emptiness. It did not reveal the hollow side of it all. I didn’t feel sad when Izzi died, was not moved seeing the craziness of the Astronaut, and was not maddened seeing the massacre of Tomas. (The only thing which drives me mad is when some people say that there were actually three different stories told). And that was not cool on the Director’s part to keep that misunderstanding, and the reason was that the interweaving was so weak. And the way it portrayed death as the ultimate realization was too synthetic.

I hope Aronofsky will come back.

[One theory attributes the weakness of the movie to then relationship between Darren Aronofsky & Rachel Weisz].

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm  Comments (3)  
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Video Discoveries

There are lot of exciting Videos I came across in recent times.
Randy Pausch‘s Last Lecture

Sounds like Fermat’s Last Theorem, and became dramatically popular in an extremely short span. While I do not agree with the Professor’s philosophy about life, success etc; it still is a masterpiece delivery at such a timely moment. Whats intriguing about the lecture (and the persona of the orator) are the simple mindedness, honesty, and the self involved. We need drama like these- and even if we agree or not- we need the appraisal of such drama. Bored of the set examples and repetitive preachings- look for it.

Martin Gardner & Friends
I am a big fan of Martin Gardner, and I think that being his fan is my biggest achievement so far. (People like Persi Diaconis attributed their life’s success to him). Take a look & feel the thunder. Click here (.wmv file).

Also see (mind you this is by a Stanford Mathematician)
Life after Poincare: Grigori Perelman
Everybody knows who is Perelman, but nobody knows whats he doing now. Check ’em out (part 1 of n)

G103

A (surreal) day in the life of an undergraduate on the 4-year M.Math degree at the University of Warwick.

Zeitgeist

I like such stuff. Buck up.

A series of video lectures on cutting edge science. User friendly. Worth a look.

For user friendly lectures in cutting edge Mathematics, see here.

For user friendly lectures in cutting edge Physics, see here.

‘The Blue Umbrella’- a great event in Indian Cinema

Glimpse of the meaninglessness of the fuss about Existence- I would call it.

It irritates you, at least it irritated me- for it makes all your problems look like a joke to you. It simplifies the equations, at the same time not compromising with the rigour. And the greatness lies in the setting, the screenplay, the songs, the music. The simplicities here are actually anti-subtleties. The movie plays like a fantasy, and it reveals like a hidden treasure. It is indeed a movie about existence. And if you see it at night for the third time, it comes in your dream and whispers gently- Hush, my baby, don’t you cry.

It surely retained all the innocence of the wonderful story by Ruskin Bond, which goes by the same name.

Pankaj Kapur has earned enough पुन्य for him and Shahid Kapoor to attain मोक्ष. And I have no words for Vishal Bhardwaj.

Indian Cinema

I am pretty much convinced by now that the west is in no way capable of doing any justice to critically understand Indian Cinema. The whole idea is so different.

I will attempt to throw more light on the ‘difference’ in my later posts. As of now, you can check here.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 6:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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